Sam Harris Returns


I’ve been snowed in for the past two days, so I’m catching up on my reading. I got Letter to a Christian Nation as a Christmas present, and I finally finished it today.

Letter to a Christian Nation
Letter to a Christian Nation

It’s a quick read, only about 90 pages. Harris ruthlessly lays the smack down on all manner of misinformed religiosity. It’s kind of a condensed version of the arguments he laid out in The End of Faith. The really condensed version of the argument is that religious tolerance is a bad thing. People who make outrageous claims about the nature of the universe shouldn’t get a free pass because of political correctness.

There is a lovely discussion on the inaccurate nature of Biblical mathematics:

The Good Book states that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diamter is 3:1 (I Kings 7:23-26 and II Chronicles 4:2-5). […] But the Egyptians and Babylonians both approximated π to a few decimal places several centuries before the oldest books of the Bible were written. The Bible offers us an approximation that is terrible even by the standards of the ancient world.

Good stuff. Harris’ bombastic prose kind of pulls you though the book, and you can easily finish it, cover-to-cover, in a single snow day.

I give Letter to a Christian Nation 5 Jihadis out of 5

5 jihadis out of 5
5 Jihadis out of 5

If you have time for more in-depth heresy, read The End of Faith. It rocks, too.

One thought on “Sam Harris Returns

  1. In an interview Harris was asked about the magnanimous items that at times stem from religion (charity and what not) and he replied, “Religion gives good people bad reasons to do good things.”

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